Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Wimbledon to West Park

So we’re on the road again; today heading north.

Yesterday afternoon we picked up a hire car to use for the rest of the week. While the Fiesta is great for city driving and is very economic, it’s not really ideal for a sightseeing road trip. So we’ve booked a people-carrier to get the higher-level seating and plenty of luggage space. We ended up with a VW Sharan, which is a hideous name, but not too bad a vehicle once I’d gotten used to the automatic gearbox again.

We got another fairly prompt start, although in the process we managed to forget to put any CDs in the car, so we’ll have to pick a few up in St. Helens as the radio reception is pretty intermittent in the Highlands.

We took a route through the Cotswolds to enjoy what I always think of as ‘Miss Marple Country’; alas, Jim didn’t seem particularly taken with the yellow stone, cottages and climbing roses of the picturesque English villages.

After lunch at a lovely little hotel in the curiously-named village of Lower Slaughter, we headed for the motorway again.

The SatNav helped us avoid the worst of the congestion caused by two accidents closing the motorway ahead of us and we got into St. Helens only about twenty minutes after we expected to arrive. We had dinner and then took a walk around the park.

My mum and Jim seem to be getting on well talking about health food; he is avoiding wheat to control his arthritis and she is wheat-intolerant. As we walked down the street to the park, Jim was quite impressed that our house was built just before the American Civil War. It hadn’t really occurred to me that the war was that recent but I checked the dates and it did indeed start in 1861, the year after our house was built.

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